Forsilvra :: Winds of Change
Old 05-24-2013, 03:14 PM
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The Old Ways
The "Old Ways" of the Vandermark were adopted by the First Kings of the Mark. The religion itself is typically written down to be the practices of "Barlath," but it's more common and colloquial rendering is simply "the Old Way" among those who practice the religion itself.

Little is known about the Gods that the First Kings espoused when they initially landed on the Vandermark, but a great deal of mystery is shrouded around the adoption of the Old Way. The religion itself is rooted in the murky depths of the sacred woods in Waternesse, and for generations, the families seated in Waternesse have been responsible for maintaining the annual rites that are connected with the Old Way.

The Old Way itself is simple in practice but deeply rooted in principle, inevitably linked with the surrounding terrain of the Vandermark, largely connected with nature and the understanding of the natural balance of the world.

Gods of the Old Way are not traditionally worshipped individually, nor embody specific ideals. Much less structured than the religions of other lands, there is an informal quality to their worship, but their controlling forces are much more feared than the individual gods of the rest of Forsilvra. They are more of a concept, and are rarely found in carved likenesses or icons. Rather, they, as a whole, are regarded as benevolent beings, forces of nature that work neither for nor against the people of the Vandermark, but are an acknowledged presence that is to be understood and respected.

The specific three that are called upon are the Father, the Blessed, and the Unknown.

The Father is understood to be the soul of the earth itself, the moving force behind all things in nature. His hand is found in every birth, death, and change in the seasons. His manifestations are concrete facts of life, unchanging, moving along with the ebb and flow of time itself. The Blessed are an androgynous set of three, considered to be progeny of the Father, and are representative of fate, and the change in a person's life. They are rarely drawn, as it is considered an affront to their control, but if ever etched, they are often seen depicted as an acorn, a fully-flourished tree, and then a wizened, leaf-less outline. Rarely are they invoked separately, as it is considered bad luck to address them separately; but their individual names are the Child, the Heir and the Elder.

Most reverence is saved for the Father, whose influence is evident in the everyday life and livelihood of the people of the Vandermark, but the most outward appeasement is saved for the Unknown. The Unknown are considered to be generally dark spirits that inhabit the woods, rivers and glens of the Vandermark, espousing chaos and unpredictability, viewed as shadows and dark forces. They are not generally malicious but must be sated, and their festivals accord understanding to the unevenness of life.

Last edited by Kiera; 08-18-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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